Patient-centred collaborative care focus of first-ever virtual event

On June 23, 2020, the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA) at Schulich Dentistry capped off the 2019-2020 academic year with their first ever virtual event, “The Patient, the Dentist, and the Team.” Drawing more than 80 students, the online event featured guest speakers Dr. Manisha Jindal and Dr. Keyvan Abbaszadeh, who explored how the dentist can work together with the patient and their team to improve patient care.

During her talk about teamwork, Dr. Jindal, who is a Schulich Dentistry alumna, highlighted the importance of treating your staff as your team, without whom it would not be possible to run a successful practice. As the owner of an orthodontic practice in London, Dr. Jindal advised that practice owners can strengthen their team by transforming them into the group they strive to be, training team members, and treating them like family. She also offered tips on fostering team collaboration, explaining that this can be achieved by focusing on the patient experience, building the right team, adopting a systematic approach, having a vision and mission, and being a leader rather than a manager.

Dr. Abbaszadeh, who is a practising oral maxillofacial surgeon based in London, focused on informed consent, sharing his experiences and advice on communicating with patients and allowing them to have an active role in making decisions regarding their care. While Dr. Abbaszadeh reminded students that obtaining informed consent from a patient is a legal and ethical duty for dentists, he also further emphasized that consent is an ongoing process involving discussions about the nature of a treatment, its risks, benefits, alternatives, costs, materials, and techniques, as well as providing patients with the opportunity to ask questions and seek second opinions.

From the valuable insights provided by both Dr. Jindal and Dr. Abbaszadeh, students learned that teamwork, collaboration, communication, and trust are all key elements that allow the patient, the dentist, and the team to work together and progress towards achieving successful outcomes in patient care.

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 SPEA August 2020 x 880